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Wahine finish fall camp with scrimmage


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POSTED: Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's hard to say who got the bigger treat: the Molokai High girls volleyball team, when getting to watch Hawaii's scrimmage yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center, or the Rainbow Wahine, who relished the Molokai hot bread they received from the Lady Farmers.

“;We really enjoyed this,”; Molokai assistant coach Kim Helm said. “;We watch them on TV, but it's different when you can come and watch in person.”;

The Lady Farmers and some 70 others got a sneak peek at this year's edition of the Wahine over nearly 2 hours, as well as the new TeraFlex court. Technically, Hawaii “;A”;—with more of the projected starters—won 25-16, 25-16, 18-21, 15-9, but since players traded teams, including the two setters, the real results were in the individual statistics.

Senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru put down 13 kills, hitting .344, and didn't have a hitting error until midway through Set 3. Sophomore hitters Kanani Danielson (12 kills) and Stephanie Ferrell (11) were right behind.

While Wahine coach Dave Shoji hasn't decided his starting lineup for Friday's opener against Western Michigan, Cubi-Otineru and Danielson are expected to be among the first seven. Joining them should be junior setter Dani Mafua, senior middle Amber Kaufman and junior libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue.

Ferrell is battling it out with sophomore transfer Corinne Cascioppo for the third hitter position, while the second middle position is hotly contested between redshirt freshman Brittany Hewitt and sophomore transfer Alexis Forsythe.

Shoji said he was leaning toward starting Hewitt, but “;Alexis is going to be a good player,”; he said. “;Our lineup is small, but we're real fast. I think our passing is solid. The pieces are there. We've just got to polish them and hope we can be ready by Friday.”;

The biggest relief was the absence of devastating injuries. Hawaii has had several serious ones the past few fall camps, but the only ones sitting out yesterday's scrimmage were senior blocker-hitter Cat Fowler (muscle strain) and redshirt freshman defensive specialist Emily Maeda (lower leg stress fracture).

“;It's tough to say what was the best thing we did today,”; Mafua said. “;We started off slow, but once everyone got into rhythm, everything was good.

“;It was fun out there. We're still getting to know each other and getting used to the new court.”;

Cubi-Otineru had serving runs in both Sets 1 and 2 that allowed her team to pull away. “;B”; team setter Stephanie Brandt countered with a 7-0 serving run that included two aces in Set 3, putting her team ahead for good at 14-8.

Senior libero Jayme Lee nearly pulled it out for the “;A”; team in Set 3 with five serves that helped her team rally from 19-13 to 19-18. Freshman middle Kristiana Tuaniga put down a kill and Ferrell—who had switched sides—nailed an ace on the backline that gave the “;B”; team its lone win.

What elicited the most cheers from the crowd were the numerous long rallies and the digs of some very hard-hit balls. The most creative kill was by Danielson, who was initially blocked; the ball hit her head and went back over for a point in Set 2.

“;It was a good way to end (double-days),”; added Cubi-Otineru. “;Our new players got a taste of what it will be like to play in here and mentally will have to get ready to play in front of thousands more.”;

Note

It took 16 hours for the French-made flooring to be cut and laid last week. The only thing remaining was for the word “;HAWAII”; to be painted on each endline, a process to be done last night.